- File Size: 1851 KB
- Print Length: 188 pages
- Page Numbers Source ISBN: 1500154822
- Publisher: Createspace; 1 edition (June 11, 2014)
- Publication Date: June 11, 2014
- Sold by: Amazon Digital Services LLC
- Language: English
- ASIN: B00KXMTNGC
- Text-to-Speech: Enabled
- Word Wise: Enabled
- Lending: Enabled
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,610,687 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
This House is a Home: A story of coal mining, family and the Sengers of Stiritz Kindle Edition
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Let's take a step back ... his Grandfather, Vern, left his hometown a lifetime ago, and has not been in touch with his siblings. At the point this journey takes place, he is an old man who sits in his chair all day long, drinking and complaining. However, when faced with the prospect of seeing his siblings again, he goes out and gets a new suit, a new hat, and even begins to smile again!
Young Peter meets his Great-Aunt Maddy, who is the family historian. Through her he begins to get a very different perception of where he came from, and what influenced his Grandfather's growing up years. His ancestors were coal miners, and faced a very harsh life. They were (and still are!) very hardworking, family oriented people. They may live poor, but they take care of themselves and those around them, and are surrounded by love and genuine caring.
This is an entrancing tale of family, and of lifestyle. We see how Peter's ancestor's lived, what was important to them, what their work conditions were, and so much more. I had to smile at the description of an out-house, as in my lifetime one of my ancestors had a very nice house, with running water indoors, but an out-house in place of a bathroom. We are not that far removed from this time.
Through the inclusion of one small event - a Fourth of July party given yearly by Maddy for the entire family - we all allowed a view of history and family dynamics that really is very hard to recreate. My hat is off to Mr. Nork for creating a spellbinding story!
Creating the history of your family takes work, having people to talk with and listening. Wanting to find out more about his family’s past, the people that he never met and create a report on the history of his family Peter Jacob Borden III, would take on a huge venture and at the end it would not only change his life but many close to him too. What if the history of your family took you back to a town where people lived each day just taking care of their family? What if money, luxuries and things were not their prime concern? Could you live without air conditioning, computers, cell phones and even a washing machine? Take a trip back in time with the Sengers of Stiritz and learn the true meaning of family ties, friendship, love and just what the definition of a home really is.
As Peter and his family discuss the report that he has to do for school his father finds his own and this is the start of an adventure not only for Peter, his family who is reading his thoughts and words but for readers to understand the rationale behind those that chose to work in the dangerous coal mines, the effects of the air quality, the soot and the residuals resulting in Black Lung for so many and the oneness that you can feel as we all take a trip to Johnston County and meet Aunt Maddy, Uncle John, Grandpa Vern, Uncle Bill and a family just like yours and mine but with one special difference. That you will find out after you read this very compelling memoir or history of a family that anyone would want to be apart of.
Peter’s grandfather was a proud man thought living in the big city was better than the small town his family came from. The house he resided in with his wife was a normal sized home with the main floor, a living room his orange chair, a basement and second story. But, his grandfather had not been back for years and Johnston City had just about 7000 people living there. The Sengers were coal miners but not his grandfather. As we learn more about Peter’s family on his mother’s father’s side readers will be engulfed in a story that will keep you glued to the printed page, entering the coalmines, living the job with the miners and understanding their plight.
Vern Senger was a cantankerous and feisty older man whose favorite sandwich was liverwurst and onions. The foods that you will learn about might not bring a tantalizing desire to eat them to your pallet but after learning more about this family you just might try some of them.
The job of a coal miner is dangerous and hazardous to the person’s health. Performing many task depending on the type of mine the person is employed in, despite any safety improvements, this area of work is dangerous. Regardless of what this person does, he/she must be both physically and mentally fit and alert, cautious and attentive at all times. Getting to know the family is how Peter begins writing his report. Enlisting the help of his parents, his grandfather and Uncle the solution as they all decide to attend the annual fourth of July celebration in Johnston and what Peter will learn will stay with him forever. What is in important to you: Money, Power, material things or family? Learn the true meaning of the simple phrase: This House is A Home after reading this compelling story.
A family that appeared to be disjointed and a young boy that just might unite them and bring harmony. A grandfather who divorced himself from the primitive way his family lived and a sudden awakening to the important things in life. Imagine doing laundry by hand, my grandmother did. Imagine picking blueberries I did with my grandmother when I was younger. It was more fun than buying them in the market. Imagine not having indoor plumbing and sleeping in one room. This was the way Aunt Maddy lived and so did many of her children as each house was given to another family member of another generation and as they said so many times throughout the story: The sun never set on a Senger house. So, Peter’s journey into his family’s history began at 6 one morning as Aunt Maddy got him up and the story begins with her recounting the marriage of Henry and Margaret Senger. An arranged marriage that would change Margaret’s life and a story that will endear you to them both as we learn that Margaret would never forget William her true love but was loyal to Henry. Thinking marrying her would help advance his career in the mining industry, he consented to the arrangement. A story that Maddy would tell in her own way and a young boy that never thought that coming home to learn about his roots would be so exciting and wonderful. More than just a learning experience as the author expertly treats readers to the history of each family member, their migrations to many different places and their lives within the dangerous confines of a coal mine. As Henry would dig a hole in the wall of the coal using his pick, put a stick of explosives in the hole, light the wide wick at the end of it and take cover. As the author relates more readers might become tense, feel the smoke, the acrid smell and understand why this was so dangerous. Women would cook, some would sew and others would create gardens. Each family would provide something for the others and they would trade their products for what they needed from others. Imagine using the barter system and not having to worry about money! Working in many different coal mines we get to know more about Henry and his family. But, Henry’s family had one slight advantage over the others when they moved to a specific block of houses. Being the first ones there they were able to build shelters for all of its male members. Within 3 months each of his sons had his own house and the only one living at home was their daughter Joanah. The rest of Chapter 5 includes information about Vern his grandfather as Aunt Maddy says: A family’s tradition and background are things worth preserving.” How very true!
Chapter 6 focuses on Thomas Senger and his family as he led the way as a hunter for his family. Adventurous and wild he was able to bring back fresh strawberries and mushrooms for his mother and hunt rabbit and other small animals allowing his mother to use the skins for clothing in the winter. Each family member would continue with more of the history and the journey as Uncle John was next and this part of the story is really my favorite as he takes both Peter and cousin Emily, to different mines to get a first hand experience of what a real coal miner did. Read Chapter 7 and learn about a typical day of a coal miner from Uncle John along with Peter.
The head of each family made sure that each member knew the importance of family, family loyalty and values. Read pages 102- 105 and learn what Uncle John called their system of living. Join them as they enter a shaft mine, learn the definition of cutters, diggers and tracklayers and get the firsthand experience along with Peter. Find out what Peter finds and the importance of the artifact and what happens when he and Emily experience something they will never forget. As Peter tells his story from the past his son in the present is hoping to use what he learns and is reading to get his own A+. The hardest thing was for Peter to adjust to the food and trying dishes that most people might not want to take a taste of brought him closer to his family. Imagine having a food tent with so many dishes that it required an entire family to prepare for the event. Raccoon, rabbit, squirrel and even cow hearts: Want some!
As Peter learns more about his family grandpa Vern opens up to him about his own past and learns more about himself. What happens when his time there is finished? Will he ever see them again? Will his grandfather reunite with his brothers and sisters? What is really important to you: Things, material worth, money or family and love?
Meet cousin Madeline at the end and learn just how she managed to keep the family heritage going in the present. But, first learn about a new way of playing horseshoes using washers. Some mysteries require that the detective uncover the answers and in this case you will uncover the mysteries beneath the ground, enter a coal miner’s shaft, learn about the dangers and come out just maybe wanting to be a member of the Senger family and wearing their famous orange tee shirt at special occasions. A definite must read for teens, young adults and for anyone that has forgotten the true meaning of what family means.
Let’s give this title: FIVE GOLDEN DELICIOUS LIVERWURST SANDWICHES FOR GRANDMA PA VERN!